Continued errors are costing the Vatican in late innings

(TCWR. Christopher R. Altieri).

What do the scandals in and around Major League Baseball of late have to do with the ongoing leadership crisis in the Catholic Church? In a word: Nothing. In another: Everything. Bad for business, bad for baseball. There are gambling scandals, for example, one of which has seen a player get the boot and one of which hasn’t. 24-year-old journeyman Tucupita Marcano of Venezuela received a lifetime ban for placing bets on baseball with a legal sportsbook, totaling $150,000 over a several months’ stretch that began in 2023 when Marcano was on the injured list. The LA Dodgers’ superstar nice guy and perennial fan favorite, Shohei Ohtani of Japan, has seen his reputation tarnished by the behavior of his friend and interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. Ohtani, it seems to prosecutors, had been inadvertently bankrolling his interpreter’s gambling habit to the tune of $16 million in illegal bets on games other than baseball. One should not be surprised to see the Lords of Baseball taking an institutional hard line on baseball betting. The “Black Sox” scandal nearly ruined Major League Baseball a little more than a hundred years ago. The best-known of the unfortunate fellows at the center of the Black Sox scandal was Joseph Jefferson “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, a slugging outfielder. Some shady characters offered Jackson and seven other players for the Chicago White Sox some big money to throw the 1919 World Series. Word got out. There was an investigation and a trial that ended in acquittal, but Major League Baseball banned Shoeless Joe and the others for life.

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